Tag Archives: #sexyscribblers

Accidental Witch, Episode 5

Episode Five

By Chanta Rand

 

 

Mary stepped out of the limo and stood on shaky legs as Stirling clasped her hand in his. The man’s kiss had nearly made her knees buckle. She held on tight, hoping she didn’t fall and bust her ass wearing these five-inch stilettos. The sparkly pumps were a far cry from the comfortable sneakers she normally wore. Tonight her mission was dress to impress. By the way Stirling’s tongue was hanging out, she’d succeeded.

Before they could reach the door, a photographer sprang up like a jack-in-the-box to snap a photo of them. Stirling wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close, settling into a picture-perfect pose. It wasn’t hard to smile, especially feeling the heat of Stirling’s palm scorching through the material of her dress. Desire snaked through her veins like liquid fire. She was still thinking about his promise to find out what her other lips tasted like. If his kiss was any indication, this man would live up to every fantasy she’d ever had about him.

Moments later, clinging to his arm, she stepped through the door of the posh Palladium Club. Bittersweet sweet pride replaced passion as her eyes swept across her handiwork. Even beneath the dim light of the glittering chandeliers, she saw her stamp of classiness everywhere. She was responsible for everything—from the velvet, burgundy drapes parted with gold tassels to the gold tablecloths and white lily centrepieces. She’d even picked the venue. Her dumbass boss didn’t have the connections to secure a party here. Ironically, when she booked this place (at a substantial discount), she never thought she’d be attending with a man who made her panties wet.

A waiter approached, carrying a tray laden with flutes of Cristal champagne. Stirling plucked two flutes from the tray and passed one to her. If he kept this up, she’d be as drunk as her boss had falsely accused her of.

No sooner had she tipped the glass to her lips, did the man suddenly appear. His jaw dropped the moment he set eyes on her. Within seconds, his short, stubby legs stormed into her personal space.

“What are you doing here?” he demanded. “I thought I made it clear you no longer work for me.”

Before she could reply, Stirling’s six-foot-plus frame stepped in front of her boss. “I’m Stirling Drake. Ms. Reynolds is my date. Is there a problem?”

The frost in Stirling’s voice generated enough ice for an igloo.

“Oh, um…my mistake,” her boss stammered. “I, uh…didn’t realize—”

“Shouldn’t you be attending to the guests instead of harassing my date?”

If Little Napoleon were of fairer complexion, he would have turned beet red. But his coffee-color skin betrayed no emotion. Only the slight twitching of his right eye let her know he was pissed. She’d seen the tick plenty of times—because she was usually the one pissing him off.

“Yes, sir, Mr. Drake.” Her boss practically saluted. “Is there anything…else I can do for you?”

“You’ve done enough. In fact, the best part about you letting her go is that I get to have her all to myself.”

Her boss walked off, clearly flustered and embarrassed. Mary giggled, fighting the sudden throbbing between her legs. “What exactly do you have planned for me, Stirling Drake?”

A devilish grin crept across his handsome features. “Magic, baby. We’re going to make beautiful magic together.”

 

 

Accidental Witch, Episode 4

Episode Four

By Valerie Twombly

 

Stirling tried not to stare, but it was damn hard. Speaking of…so was his cock, and it was pressing painfully into the zipper of his slacks. This was one time going commando had been a bad idea. The fabric of the dress wrapped around her breasts as if they’d been dipped in amethyst, and there was no missing the fact she was bra-less. Her nipples pointed at him and begged to be tasted. It was all he could do to keep his tongue from rolling out of his mouth. Fortunately, he was quick to remember his manners and offered his arm.

“Shall we?”

“Thank you. You certainly look dashing tonight.” She wrapped her fingers around his bicep, and he stifled a moan. The woman’s touch was like fire, and it burned straight through his jacket. It was going to be a long evening.

“I must admit,” he answered as he escorted her down the sidewalk where Gus waited with the limo door open, “I hate formal attire. I’m much more at ease in jeans and a tee.”

Mary smiled. “I know exactly what you mean.” She released his arm and bent over to climb into the limo. He wasn’t so sure her ass could look any more delicious unless it was naked and bent over in front of him, while he pounded into her from behind.

Shit!

His erection throbbed and reminded him to make a quick adjustment before he slid across the seat. He’d think about baseball but that would only encourage him to try and run all the bases with her. He’d have to come up with something else, or he’d be all over her before they left the curb. Pulling the bottle of champagne from its icy bucket, he wrapped a towel around it and poured two glasses. Once finished, he landed the bottle back in its place and offered her a glass. They had a thirty-minute ride so might as well take the edge off with a little bubbly.

He held up his glass. “To a successful evening.”

They clinked and she sipped. “Mmm, very good. So tell me, what kind of success are you hoping for this evening?”

He couldn’t help the grin that lifted his lips. “I’m hoping the fundraiser is successful. What did you think I meant?” His cock was hoping he’d succeed in other areas as well.

“Well, of course…the charity. I just didn’t know if there were…” She ran her fingers down her neck, stopping just above the swell of her breasts. “Perhaps there were other ventures you hoped to conquer.”

“Indeed. One of which is to kiss you.” If he read her signals correct, she wanted it as bad as he did.

“Really? Then what would be stopping you?” She licked her lips.

Oh, hell.

He took the glass from her hand and set them both on the table as he slid closer. In one bold move, he had her pinned to the corner. First, he kissed the corner of her mouth.

She parted her lips slightly.

Stirling was one thing if nothing else: a man who never passed up an opportunity. He slipped his tongue into the depths of her mouth. The taste of champagne and mint mingled with the scent of strawberries. The combination caused him to press further into her; her breasts against his chest had him cursing the fabric between them. She moaned and kissed him harder. He cupped her breast and brushed his thumb over her nipple. The bud hardened in response, and his heart beat faster.

“Mr. Drake. We are five minutes out, sir.” Gus cracked over the speaker.

Stirling broke free, both of them panting as they stared at each other. “Thank you, Gus. Looks like you’ve been saved by the bell,” he whispered.

She lifted a delicate brow. “Saved from what?”

He grinned. “From me hiking that dress over your hips and finding out what your other lips taste like.”

 

 

 

Accidental Witch, Episode 3

Episode Three

By Kishan Paul

 

 

Mary stood in front of her bathroom mirror inspecting herself. The deep purple dress fit her body like second skin and flattered her in all the right places. She turned to check out her rear and smiled. Yup, in all the right places. She grabbed the curling iron and worked on her hair.

Her stomach fluttered as an image of the brown-haired, dark-eyed man popped into her head. She’d been drawn to Stirling Drake since they first met a month ago. So drawn to him, in fact, that she tripped over her shoes when their eyes locked. Fortunately, she was able to grab on to the back of a chair before she fell on her face. The rest of the night, she had tried to stay focused and work the event while keenly aware he watched her. It had only been a few weeks since she’d started her catering job, and they’d made it clear that flirting or dating customers was grounds for immediate dismissal. As attracted as she was to him, she needed the money, and so she made it her goal to avoid him at all cost. It worked beautifully until the end, when he cornered her in the kitchen and asked her out.

Mary closed her eyes and remembered the musky scent of his cologne and his warmth when he leaned in to speak. Stirling was one of the sexiest men she’d ever met, and for reasons she didn’t understand, he wanted her. It took every ounce of self-control to turn him down but she did. Every night since, she’d seen him in her dreams—as he did things to her she could never say out loud. Images of last night’s escapades filled her head. Never had she enjoyed bedtime as much as she had the past month.

The smell of something burning brought her back to the present. She pulled the curling iron out of her hair before it ruined her locks and then fixed her lipstick. Clearly, dreaming wasn’t in her best interest. Life had taught her that lesson years ago. If she wanted something, she worked her tail off to get it no matter how many times that tail got kicked in the process. It was like her Aunt Gwen used to say, “When life gives you lemons, throw them back at the sons-of-bitches.” That was exactly what she planned to do.

Saying yes to Stirling fulfilled a very selfish goal for Mary. By going to the charity auction catered by her former asshole employer as his date, she would be wined and dined by the very people who threw her out. The cherry on top was the fact that she hoped to find out if the living, breathing Stirling was even remotely as good in bed as he was in her dreams. The doorbell rang before she could think any deeper on the subject.

Mary scanned her small apartment as she headed to the door. The room was sparsely furnished with mismatched thrift store finds but it was hers. Well, until the first of the month when they would most likely kick her out for not paying rent—until then it was hers.

She sucked in a breath, opened the door, and then stopped breathing all together. Just like in one of her favourite dreams, Stirling stood before her in a dark tuxedo with a black tie. The things he did to her with that tie…

Her face, as well as other parts of her, heated. When she finally met his gaze, she noticed the hungry way he stared at her. “You are beautiful.”

 

 

 

Accidental Witch, Episode 2

Episode Two

By Aubrey Wynne

 

 

“Gus, did you purchase my supplies?”

“Yes, sir,” the chauffeur said over his shoulder, weaving through traffic. “You will be pleased with the pendulum. It’s a brilliant clear amethyst. However, there were no white candles only red.”

“That’s fine. I only need the red for tonight.” Stirling Drake smiled at the fat raindrops now splattering against the windshield. He loved a good storm. “Did you find the sixth volume?”

“It’s on your desk, sir.” At the red light, Gus looked in the rear view mirror. “Will you be needing my assistance before the charity auction tonight?”

Stirling needed to take care of this hex before he left this evening. “No, I think can manage without assistance.” He let out a sigh. “The last thing I want to do is put on a tux tonight.”

“But it’s for a good cause, and she should be there. Speak of the…” He slowed the car. “Is that Miss Reynolds, sir?”

Through the tinted glass, he saw the stunning honey blonde march toward the curb, a tote bag slung over her shoulder. Her purse swung wildly from her wrist as she shook her fist at what appeared to be the heavens. A wicked smile curved Stirling’s lips, and the rain immediately turned into a downpour. The thin material of her dress now clung to her delicious curves.

“I believe the damsel is in distress.” He rolled down the window of the Mercedes. “Can I give you a lift?”

She leaned down, wiped the sodden gold tendrils from her face, and gave him a disgusted look. “If you can improve my day, I’ll go anywhere with you.”

He opened the door, stretched out his long legs, and took the tote from her. “Allow me.” Mary rewarded him with a dazzling smile. She left a trail of water across the dark leather seat as she slid across.

“Mr. Drake, how nice of you. It’s been one hell of a day, and I don’t think it’s noon yet.” Her voice cracked. “I’m not a vengeful person but if I could—”

“Why don’t you tell me what happened, Miss Reynolds?” The anger flashing in those green eyes sent heat through him. This woman had stirred his blood when he first met her last month. Drake Corporation raised funds each year for literacy, and she had catered the dinner. Asking her out, he had been politely informed that dating clients went against her moral business standard. Stirling vowed then to never hire that caterer in the future.

“So I told that spiteful pastry chef that I’d put a curse on her.” Her head slammed against the back of the soft leather.

Can you put a curse on her?” he asked in a low voice as he slid closer. Stirling’s midnight eyes locked with Gus’ tawny stare in the rear view mirror.

Her laughter seemed incongruous to the previous rant. The sudden switch in mood made her even more attractive. Yes, there was something about this female; she awakened a longing deep inside him.

“Don’t be sil… You’re not serious.” Her full lips pursed slightly, and she gave him a wary look. “Are you?”

“Of course not, Miss Reynolds. However, your misfortune is my good fortune.” He gave her his most charming smile and slowly reached out his hand and brushed a dripping curl behind her ear.

“And how is that?”

“I can no longer be considered a client if you are no longer employed. Perhaps I could share some magic with you over dinner. Would you be my date for the charity auction tonight? I believe an event you were in charge of?”

A grin curved her mouth. “Please, call me Mary.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accidental Witch Episode 1

Episode One

By Luanna Stewart

 

 

Mary Reynolds clicked save and leaned back in her chair, a feeling of satisfaction at a job well done. The catering for the annual statehouse shindig had been handled by their number-one competitor for years, but thanks to her massive skillz, her employer would make the big bucks.

She glanced around the large open workspace. She’d not worked here very long, and she wasn’t exactly friends with any of the staff, but she felt accepted. Mostly. Her gaze went to the one cloud in her otherwise sunny sky. She had no clue what she’d done to piss off the pastry chef. But as her older brother always said, it is what it is.

Her office phone buzzed. The summons to the big boss’s presence. She grabbed the printout of the calendar for the next three months, nicely filled thanks to her hard work, and skipped into the lair.

“You’re fired.” He kept his gaze on the menswear catalogue he was flipping through.

“Wait, what?” Mary’s heart zipped into overdrive.

“You are fired.”

“I don’t understand.” Her boss had finally gone off the deep end. The pressure of doing dick all day had finally gotten to him.

“Which word is tripping you up?”

Bastard. Rubbing her lack of a college degree in her face as usual. She’d completed enough credits for three degrees. They just weren’t all in the same subject. Or at the same school. “Why am I fired?” Sweat trickled between her boobs.

“There’ve been too many complaints.”

Whoa. “This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

He flung a file across his high-tech glass and steel desk that probably cost as mush as her car. Probably more, given the sad excuse for a car she could afford. “It’s all documented, so don’t waste your time going after a wrongful dismissal suit.”

Mary snatched the folder and flicked through—shit—over a dozen incident reports. What the fuck? Inebriated? She hardly ever drank. Who could afford booze? Incomplete project? Bullshit. The only project she wasn’t happy with was when she was forced to work with that pastry bitch. Yeah, there was her signature.

“This is a witch hunt.” She shook the folder, wanting to smack him upside the head.

“And don’t try any discrimination nonsense. I believe in religious freedom as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work.” He circled a picture in the catalogue. Skinny jeans. Not in his lifetime.

“What the Hades are you talking about?”

He heaved himself from his custom leather chair, quite a feat, and circled the desk. He pulled a sheet from the stack in the folder and held it three inches from her face.

She squinted. Satanic ritual.

“Okay, this isn’t funny anymore.” She snatched the paper from his meaty hand and read further. “I lit a candle, a balsam scented candle, because it was freaking Christmas, and I wanted to create a festive atmosphere in this dungeon. It had nothing to do with summoning be-ell-za whats it.”

“Pack up your desk and leave within the hour, or I’ll call security.” He settled in his chair and sighed, done with his exercise for the day.

“We don’t have security.” Ass. What they had was a mom-and-pop catering business, located in the basement of a strip mall, operated by the spoiled brat of the mom and the pop. “You haven’t heard the last from me.”

“Threatening your boss now?”

“You’re not my boss anymore.” She left the office, slamming the door, and faced the assembled crowd. No pitchforks. But plenty of knives. Which made sense given the large space was basically a huge kitchen. She’d never felt threatened by a paring knife before, but in Johnny’s hand, dripping with the juice of strawberries he was slicing for the compote for that afternoon’s reception at the mayor’s house, the reception she’d put on their books, suddenly the atmosphere seemed menacing.

Head held high, she marched to her little corner and started emptying her desk drawers into her tote bag. A shadow fell across the desk. She knew who it was based on the smell. Waves of cloying camellia hit her nose, bringing on a sneeze.

“You got what you wanted. I have no idea why you hate me, but I take solace in that fact that karma will right this wrong.” Mary met the steely gaze of the pastry chef. “Or maybe I’ll put a curse on you.”

She smirked as the other woman turned pale, and then turned tail and scuttled back to her workstation. Bitch.

Lugging her tote and her purse, she climbed the stairs. Not to worry, she’d get another job. She was damn good at organizing other people, and she’d made valuable contacts amongst the local movers and shakers. She’d be employed in no time, certainly before her next mortgage payment was due.

She stepped outside just as the sky opened. So much for the weather forecast, which had called for another hot and sunny day. Within seconds she was soaked, and her car was at the far side of the parking lot. Bloody, bloody hell.

A sleek black foreign car pulled to a stop in front of her, and the passenger side window lowered. “Can I give you a lift?”

She leaned down to see who the idiot was blocking her path.

Ranger’s Reprieve, episode 8

By Kris Calvert

 

Adorkable? Jess had no idea what was wrong with him. He wasn’t the kind of guy who tried to impress women with cute pick up lines. Frankly, before he’d lost his hand and his confidence, there’d never been a need for them. He’d always beamed with confidence—the kind of light emitted by men who weren’t afraid of anything on the outside, including a beautiful woman. But since he’d been home, his confidence had been replaced with anger and a cockiness that only reared its ugly head when he felt pitied. But Lindsey had shown him she didn’t pity him. She treated him like the man he wanted to be again, and he found himself in new and dangerous territory—spending time with a woman who made him feel whole. A woman who could destroy him all over again if he allowed her into his new and closely guarded life and heart.

“Did you just call me adorkable?”

“What? No.” Jess fumbled the words, stepping out of the tangled web of dog leashes and away from the scene. He needed to catch his breath. A breath that wasn’t filled with the vanilla scent wafting from her red locks.

Lindsey dropped her chin, hiding the blush on her cheeks. “Oh. Sorry.”

“You’re the dog trainer. Can’t you do something about these two?” Jess did his best not to look Lindsey in the face. If he caught her glace just once, he didn’t know if he could stay away from her.

The weeks of pretending he didn’t care for the beautiful redhead, beyond Java’s training, were wearing thin on his stubborn constitution. More importantly, she was the first woman he’d even thought of in a sexual way since coming home. Countless nights he’d pulled a self-imposed sentry duty, watching through the blinds for a glimpse of Lindsey in her Princess Leia shirt before getting pissed at himself for lurking. He was better than that, and he knew it. Still, he couldn’t help himself. He was drawn to her like a fly to sweet honey.

“Java is in your charge, Jess. Why don’t you control her?”

All Jess could think was, I can barely control myself around you. How can I be expected to control the damn dog?

Lindsey went to the floor, solving the leash puzzle that quickly unraveled in her hands, as Java left Shelby yapping in Lindsey’s arms only to sit at Jess’ feet without command.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.” Jess said, the words giving his now obedient mutt’s ears a loving twist. “I’m not ready for…”

Lindsey walked the four steps it took to meet Jess head on and stared at him without pretense. “You’re not ready? Or the dog’s not ready?”

Jess pulled the vanilla-filled air into his lungs, exhaling in a slow, deliberate breath. He was trying to calm his nerves, but mostly he was weighing his options. “Look, I’ve done my best from the moment I met you not to…”

Lindsey moved a step closer. “Not to what?”

Jess hung his hand on his hip, shifting his weight in his well fitting jeans, and looked around the room like a man who’d accidentally stumbled into the feminine hygiene aisle at the grocery store. He was lost, filled with panic, and looking for a way out.

“Why can’t you just acknowledge what we’ve both known since the night I stepped foot on your front porch in nothing but a Star Wars t-shirt?”

Jess’ eyes uncontrollably darted back to Lindsey.

“What? You think just because I was embarrassed when I noticed your arm that I didn’t see you looking? It’s true. I was checking you out. But you were checking me out too and have been every day since that night. At least I have the balls to admit it. Listen Jess, you want to act like there’s something wrong with you, but the only thing wrong with you is that you think there’s something wrong with you.” Lindsey’s voice reached a high pitch as she rammed her point home. “And there isn’t. You might think you’re not a whole person—a whole man, but I’ve seen your arm. It doesn’t scare me, Jess. It doesn’t,” she repeated. “Because even though you left part of your body on the battlefield, your soul is intact. And that’s the most beautiful part about you.”

Jess took a deep breath. “So, you weren’t wearing panties that night?”

“Out of all of that,” she said, waving her arm in a complete circle, “the only thing you heard was no panties?”

“I’m a man who hasn’t been with a woman in a really long time. I couldn’t help but hear no panties. So…really? No panties?”

Lindsey dropped her shoulders and took another step forward. “I never wear panties,” she whispered.

“Fuck it,” Jess muttered. “I can’t do this.”

Taking the nape of her long neck into his strong hand, Jess pulled Lindsey into his body, pressing his forehead into hers. Swallowing hard, he stroked the back of her head, gripping her long red hair in his capable fist. Resisting his urge to back her into the couch and kiss her—among other things—into tomorrow, he held his ground and made his confession. “I’m not very good at this…anymore.”

Lindsey blinked deliberately and without another thought, dropped her arm to her side, grasping his new hand in hers.

“Don’t.” It was all Jess could think to say. No one outside of his physical therapist had ever touched his prosthetic hand.

Bringing it to rest on the waistband of her tight jeans, she left him there, placing both of her hands on his rugged face. “Don’t say don’t to me.” She whispered the words and shook her head.

“Fine,” Jess replied, feeling his newfound confidence and neglected manhood growing by leaps and bounds. “How do you feel about, yes?”

“Depends on the question.”

Running his tongue across his dry lips, Jess closed his eyes and made the first real decision with consequences since coming off the battlefield.

“May I kiss you? I need to ask because once I start, I’m not stopping.”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

“Is that a yes?”

“Yes.”

 

The End!

 

 

 

 

 

Ranger’s Reprieve, episode 7

By Caroline Lee

 

The last three weeks had been giddying. There’d been her usual classes at the gym, and finishing up this second-to-the-last semester of veterinary school, sure. That was nothing new. But in between, in those glorious few free hours each week, she got to see…him.

Jess’s relationship with Java had progressed so well that the chocolate lab was living with him full-time, now. Which meant that she did her training visits right next door, in his house. Every time she went over, she was nervous and excited, and made a complete fool of herself. There was the time that she tripped on his doorstep and would’ve busted her head open if he hadn’t caught her. Then the time that she tried to hand him a leash when he was already holding the food bowl, completely forgetting that he only had the one arm. And of course, all of the time she spent admiring the really cool stuff his prosthesis could do, no matter how many times his dark brows drew in disappointedly when he caught her staring.

She should be too embarrassed to show her face over there again. She should find it too awkward to peek through her living room curtains at him, when he walked Java in the evenings. She should definitely not be fantasizing about him, wondering what it’d feel like to have his chest pressed against hers and taste those hard lips and—

Lindsey bit her lip, stirring the spaghetti sauce. There is absolutely no need to be thinking those thoughts, young lady. Her mother’s voice, and her father’s teasing, sounded loud in her brain. She’d heard them both often enough, the good Lord knew, in between her sisters’ joking about her distraction at their weekly family dinner.

But she couldn’t help it; she was distracted, and totally obsessed with her hot neighbor. The problem was, that Jess and Java worked so well together, there wasn’t much left for her to do. So she’d decided to swallow down her embarrassment and take a step. Instead of working at his house this evening, she’d invited them both over here, to her house. She’d claimed that Java needed a chance to socialize with Shelby, but she was hoping that he’d stay for the spaghetti dinner she’d cooked up too. And the wine. And the brownies. And maybe some more wine and Netflix, after?

Whoops, the sauce was dripping on the counter. Laughing at herself, Lindsey set the spoon back down and wiped up the mess, hurrying through the last few steps of prep before the 6:30 pm start time.

By 6:33, he still wasn’t there, and Lindsey was halfway through her first consolation glass of wine, sure that he wasn’t arriving. By 6:35, she considered throwing out all of the spaghetti and eating the pan of brownies in front of Gilmore Girls episodes.

So when the doorbell rang at 6:37, she darn near tripped over her freshly painted red toenails to get to it. Setting down the wine, she called to Shelby, clipped the leash onto her collar, and took a few steadying breaths. This was it. He was here. Did she look okay? Suitably casual and oh-I-just-threw-this-on but also really sexy? Lindsey squeezed her eyes shut, said a silent prayer that she wasn’t going to do or say anything stupider than usual, and threw the door open.

In the fading light, he looked just as scrumptious as he had for the last weeks. Except this time, there was a little smile under his stubble, and his lovely eyes weren’t as hooded as they’d been during that first official meeting. “Hi.”

Java’s leash was clenched in his fake hand—is that what she was supposed to call it? A fake hand? She had no idea, but it was one of a million questions she wanted to ask—so he was able to give her a little wave with his right fingers. “Hi.”

A good start. Unfortunately at that moment, Java smelled Shelby, gave a little wuff of excitement, and barreled through the door, pulling Jess past Lindsey. Shelby, however, was just as clumsy as her momma, because the mutt darted for the door, and Java followed, and in less than a heartbeat both humans were wrapped around and pulled together by the dog leashes.

It was a stunning feeling, to have his chest pressed against hers like this, and Lindsey resisted the urge to take a really deep breath. His prosthetic arm was trapped between their stomachs, and hers was around her back where she was still holding Shelby’s leash, but at that moment, it didn’t matter.

He smelled like a man should. He looked like a man should, all cut angles and harsh lines and firm muscles. He felt like a man should, and despite the supreme awkwardness of being wrapped up by two dogs, Lindsey wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

But a full minute of silence demanded her attention. “Sorry.” She tried for a flippant smile, but was afraid she looked love-sick instead. “I can be kinda a dork sometimes.”

A dork? She managed not to groan. Well, if you weren’t before, you are now, dork. He wasn’t the kind to make jokes. He wasn’t the kind to grin at her silliness. He wasn’t the kind—

She sucked in a breath—she could actually taste him, they were so close—when his fingers brushed against her cheek. And then he smiled. Really smiled, like he had when he’d met Java. “Well, I think you’re pretty adorkable.”

He’d made a joke? Or was he teasing her? Or did he—wait. He thought she was adorable? And then she stopped thinking altogether, because Jess was leaning closer.

 

 

Ranger’s Reprieve, episode 6

By Aubrey Wynne

 

Java stood, tail wagging, and sniffed at the artificial hand. Her pink tongue licked a finger and then another. An unexpected smile curled his lips. At least one female is good with it.

“She understands verbal commands as well,” Lindsey said with more than a hint of laughter. This time, she held out her right hand.

Jess unclenched his fist from inside his pocket and felt her warm fingers slide over his. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to remain lost in those clear green eyes. When his jeans tightened, he gave a fake cough and ended the contact.

“So what’s on the agenda today? How to take her for a walk?”

“We’ll get to that. Today you both need to get acquainted and make sure you are compatible,” Lindsey said in a professional tone. “Have you owned a dog before?”

“Sure, as a kid. And our unit had a shepherd that sniffed out bombs.” Dammit.

“I only ask to make sure you have no fear of canines. Some people think they want a dog but are intimidated by the size, exuberance, or just the barking.” She studied him for a moment. “I don’t think that will be an issue.”

“Why?”

“I get the feeling there isn’t much that frightens you.”

No smile, no hint of teasing. She was serious. I’ll remember to keep the windows closed so she doesn’t hear me at night. “Nope. I’ve survived hell, and I’m here to tell it about it.” He absently rubbed his aching arm.

A flash of jade eyes took in the action, and a sadness shadowed her face. Not pity—he knew the difference by now. “I’d like to hear your story.”

She gently squeezed his forearm and the ache moved to his chest. He wondered again if he might find comfort in the warmth of her skin next to his, her body filling the cold emptiness that had settled in his heart since that day…

The next few hours flew by as he learned the skills of his new canine companion. He had even managed a few grins and a genuine laugh. An apology might be a good way to end the session.

“Thanks for all your help. I can be a real ass sometimes, and I appreciate you not holding it against me.” His mother would be proud of him but he could almost hear Chuck hooting with disbelief.

“Well, I know Shelby can be a bit obnoxious but she’s a work in progress. I’ve only had her a couple of months.” She bit her plump bottom lip then looked up at him under thick, dark lashes. “Since I’m your neighbor, we could probably arrange to bring Java home sooner and do more of the training at your house. Would you like that?”

Would he like that? No. Yes. Fuck! “Sure, if it isn’t too much trouble. I guess that would work.”

“We can introduce Shelby and set up some play dates.”

“Play dates?” Could you wipe the stupid grin off your face? She’ll think you’re a pervert.

“For the dogs,” Lindsey answered. “Or whatever.”

Those kissable lips turned up at the corners as she turned and bent over Java to attach her leash. He stuck his hand in his pocket to keep from giving her firm, round ass a light smack. Flirting had once been second nature to him but he hadn’t felt the urge in years. She’d also made him forget about his arm for a few hours. It might be an interesting summer after all.

 

Ranger’s Reprieve, episode 5

By Anne Lange

 

Just his fucking luck. Could his day get any worse? Not only did her freakin’ dog keep horning in on his sleepless nights. Not only did he have to see her rescue said pooch in a cute, short shirt and not much else. Not only did he have to torture himself with fantasies of gripping that mass of glorious red hair in his remaining fist while he drove into her tight heat from behind. Not only did he have to salivate, wondering what her pert nipples tasted like. Now he’d have to spend the next few weeks horny as fucking hell while Ms. Marshall taught him how to work with his dog?

How the hell did she expect him to concentrate?

He dropped his gaze to the dog. A dog who, oh look, no big surprise, sat huddled next to his pretty neighbor’s thigh. Yup, another female to reject him. Great. Just fucking great. Jess rubbed his forehead, feeling another headache coming on. And his damn arm ached like a bitch.

“Shelby isn’t being trained as a therapy dog, Mr. Monroe.”

“Damn good thing, because she clearly doesn’t come when she’s called.” The ball of fur didn’t skedaddle when ordered to either.

“Java, however, has been fully trained, Mr. Monroe. We—“

“Jess.”

“Excuse me?”

“My name is Jess. My father is Mr. Monroe and he’s ….” Why the hell did he tell her that? He didn’t want to be on a first name basis with her.

“I’m sorry.” Delicate eyebrows dipped in a frown, and she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth.

He was such an ass. Jess took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. He softened his tone. “Never mind.” He shuffled his feet and shoved his one hand into the front pocket of his jeans. His prosthetic hung at his other side like a flashing beacon to the two females sitting in front of him. The dog pitied him. He could see it in those soulful eyes of her. She blinked. Her ears were tucked close to her head. Her nose twitched as she studied him. “Look, maybe there’s somebody else who can help me with Java.”

Between the lack of sleep, panic attacks, and the headaches, he needed something to change. And he’d been hoping this dog would be the answer.

Lindsey rubbed the soft spot on the top of the Java’s head between her ears. The dog glanced up. Was that a plea in her expression? A plea for another wounded soldier to help instead of the broken one in front of her? Maybe one that at least had all his parts.

“Can we please start over?” Jess raised his head and captured Lindsey’s solemn gaze. “I am sorry,” she added. “About everything you’ve been through. I’m not…appalled by your injury, Jess. I’m curious about it, though.” She patted the dog absently.

Jess tore his eyes away from her. Those lips of hers were very distracting. But she wasn’t here to be his fantasy fuck buddy. She was here to work with him and his newly assigned dog.

Maybe if he kissed her and got it out of the way, they could move on. He could stop wondering, be able to focus more. Might take the edge off. God knows doing the one-handed dance to visions of her sugar plums wasn’t doing it for him.

Jess snapped his eyes closed. His mother would smack him upside the head. Since when did he objectify women like that? And when the hell did his pity party start rolling like a runaway train?

Oh yeah, when he lost his arm and got shipped home. What he needed was a big fucking rewind button. Chuck would still be alive. He’d have his arm. And he wouldn’t be thinking or saying the crap that he was thinking and saying. Though he wouldn’t be living next to the beautiful Ms. Lindsey Marshall either.

He tested out his smile. “Hey, you wouldn’t be interested in giving a guy a kiss, would you? You know, as a way to start over?”

 

 

Ranger’s Reprieve, episode 4

By Kishan Paul

 

Lindsey sat cross-legged on the concrete floor in one of the training rooms of Paws for Veterans. A beautiful chocolate lab lay next to her with her head in her lap. Her eyes were closed as she brushed her thick coat. In the hour she’d been there, the owner of the agency had given her a tour and described in detail the service they provided. Rescue dogs, many from the very shelter she volunteered at, were brought here, trained, and then connected to soldiers injured in combat.

Considering she once worked as a trainer in a similar facility back in her teenage years, she pretty much knew how the place worked and what it stood for. The pay had sucked but the experience had been invaluable. That summer job was what cemented her decision to become a veterinarian. It was also why she had just volunteered to help train Java and his new owner for the next couple of weeks.

The dog planted a paw on her lap. She grinned and brushed it. “Today you’re going to meet your daddy.”

Java pulled her ears back and stared up at her with her dark brown eyes, as if looking for reassurance.

“I bet he’ll be an amazing daddy.” She scratched the patch of fur between her ears. “He’s probably worried if you’ll like him, too.”

Before she could say more, the dog rose to all fours and stared at the door behind her. Lindsey turned in time to see it open. Scuffed dark brown boots stepped in. She took in the frayed edges of the person’s jeans as her gaze inched higher. Thick muscular thighs hugged in denim towered over here. Soon she found herself staring at another part of him hugged by the denim.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” The deep, familiar baritones of the man’s voice echoed in the room.

She sucked in a breath and forced herself to lean back and stare into the irritated hazel eyes of her jerk of a neighbor.

Her mouth dropped. Of all the veterans in the country to walk in that door, of course it had to be this one.

Mr. Monroe closed his eyes and mumbled something to himself as he took some deep breaths of his own. She watched in complete fascination at the way his grey cotton tee stretched against his muscled chest when he inhaled a slow, deep lungful of air.

For some reason, she couldn’t think straight when he was around. Her brain went from screaming for her to run the hell away to wondering what he would look and feel like…naked…on top of her. She forced herself to stare at the floor as she tried to collect her thoughts.

Java nudged her cold nose against her chin and licked her cheek. She smiled and gave the dog a hug. She was right. She was tougher than this.

She climbed to her feet, kept a firm grip on the lab with her right palm, and stretched out her left arm. “Mr. Monroe, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m Lindsey Marshall.”

The look of irritation on his face changed to one of anger as he waved his artificial left hand at her.

She cringed and dropped her arm to her side as she cursed under her breath. “Yeah, sorry I forgot you don’t have a …”

He tipped his chin at Java and cut her off. “Is that my dog?”

She nodded and pet the chocolate lab, who was currently pressing her head against Lindsey’s leg. “Yes, this lovely young lady is Java.” She rolled her shoulders back and flashed her most professional smile. “And I will be your trainer for the next few weeks.”

The corners of Asshole Monroe’s lips curved up. “Trainer? How about you work on training your own dog first?”